Tuesday, 8 January 2013

BUILDING BRIDGES - this year's Holocaust memorial day theme

Council press release below, all are welcome in two weeks to the Reading Civic even, details are below


Reading will again this year host an evening of reflection to remember victims of the Holocaust with a special memorial event at the Civic Centre on Thursday January 24th.

The theme for this year's Holocaust Memorial Day is 'Communities Together: Build a Bridge.'

On the day, the Holocaust Memorial Day Trust is asking people across the UK to remember how hatred and persecution have fractured communities and turned neighbours against each other, and to emphasise the need for all people to show respect for others and to connect with others within our community.

The evening - which begins from 6.30pm - will include a presentation from Reading College Students on 'The Lessons We Learned from Auschwitz', as well as Journalist and Author Monica Porter, who will talk about her Mother, Hungarian actress Vali Racz, and her experiences during the Holocaust where she was amongst many who were responsible for saving Jewish lives.

Olivia Marks-Woldman, Chief Executive of the Holocaust Memorial Day Trust and who will also be speaking at the event, said: 'Holocaust Memorial Day is about learning from the past to build a better future; it is about promoting equality, respect and understanding. This year, we are asking people to build bridges within their community by signing an online statement. We hope people used the day to consider the part they can play in creating a safer, better future."

The Reading Holocaust Memorial Day event has been organised by Reading Borough Council and ACRE (Alliance for Cohesion and Racial Equality). It is supported by Reading Hebrew Congregation, Reading Faith Forum, Reading Refugee Support Group, Zimbabwean Community in Reading, Reading Post and Valpee Printing Company.

Councillor Jo Lovelock, Leader of Reading Borough Council, said: 'It is so important that we all make some time to remember the horrors of the Holocaust and the divisions it caused. This annual memorial event acts as a good reminder on the need to respect people of all nationalities and backgrounds and to renew our resolve that we will work throughout the year to maintain community cohesion in Reading.'

Victor Koroma, Interim Manager of ACRE/RCRE, said 'We believe that by holding commemorative events for the Holocaust & Genocides we not only pay homage to past victims, we are also informed and sensitised to the consequences of extreme racial & religious hatred, and to incidents of human rights abuses. We must therefore remain vigilant in challenging bigoted views and working towards achieving a more cohesive society in Reading and beyond'.

A candle-lighting ceremony will take place on the night and entry to the service is free.

For more information, call Victor Koroma from Reading Council for Racial Equality on (0118) 951 0279 or victor@rcre.co.uk

ENDS

Notes for Editors: Holocaust Memorial Day is an annual event and marks the anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz-Birkenau. The day highlights the results of prejudice and intolerance through learning about the Holocaust, other victims of Nazi racial policies and genocides.

PHOTOCALL: You are invited to send a reporter and / or photographer to the Holocaust Memorial Day 2013 event ,which takes place from 6.30pm on Thursday January 24 at the Civic Centre, Reading.